Short Term Health Insurance In Oregon
Short term health insurance in Oregon is designed to fill gaps in coverage after a job change, graduation from college or other life-changing event that leaves you without traditional coverage. Often, employers have a mandatory waiting period before coverage can begin when you start a new job. Short term health insurance can cover that gap until traditional insurance begins.
Preventive care isn’t typically included with short term healthcare, and if you have a pre-existing condition, it will not be covered as well. For 2018, if your only health insurance is a short term plan, you can be assessed a tax penalty at the end of the year. However, in 2019, the tax penalty has been zeroed out, so no penalty will be assessed if you only have short term coverage.
Benefits of the plans are that they can be obtained outside the open enrollment period. They can also be cancelled at any time and a refund may be issued for unused premiums. Although most policies don’t cover the 10 essential health benefits that Obamacare requires for major medical policies, some may offer a few of those benefits, like hospital care, outpatient surgery and emergency room treatment. Premiums are usually much lower for short term plans than they are for ACA-compliant plans, which is why they appeal to so many people.
There are concerns that if too many healthy people sign up for short term plans, it could leave too many people with current medical conditions that require more expensive treatments in the healthcare marketplace. This could create an unstable market that may cause premiums to rise significantly. This has led Oregon to place limits on short term health insurance policies, although many people see the option of a plan that doesn’t have the strict ACA requirements as a benefit, especially if they are healthy and have no pre-existing conditions.
The enrollment process for a short term plan is often much easier than an ACA-compliant plan as well. There are usually just a few yes or no questions that must be answered regarding major health concerns.
In 2016, sales of short term health insurance policies grew in Oregon, but sales were still significantly lower than those sold in the individual health insurance marketplace. In 2014, there were 2,015 temporary policies sold. At the end of 2016, there were 3,043 policies, an increase of just over 1,000.
As of 2017, an Obama administration regulation limited all short term health policies to no more than 90 days, but this could change in 2018. The Trump administration wants to revise regulations on short term plans to lengthen the duration from three months to 364 days. States would be given the ability to create their own restrictions on the policies. Oregon Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi told legislative panels not long after the federal change was announced that consumers in the state would be protected against the promotion of substandard short term health insurance plans.
Oregon law limits short term plans to no more than 90 days, and there must be a 60-day gap in coverage before a second plan can take effect. Unlike other states, insurers in Oregon cannot sell four 90-day packages that run back-to-back in order to get around the three-month limit set by the federal government. Because Oregon requires a 60-day waiting period between policies, if you were to develop an illness or become injured, your new policy would not cover costs for those conditions as they would be considered pre-existing.
Carriers Offering Short Term Coverage in Oregon
Companion Life Insurance Company
Golden Rule Insurance Company (UHC)
Independence American Insurance Company
LifeShield National Insurance Company
Independence Holding Company (IHC Group)
National General Accident & Health